Monday, August 15, 2011

Book Review And Give-Away: "I Am Tama, Lucky Cat" Written By Wendy Henrichs, Illustrations By Yoshiko Jaeggi

I have long been intrigued by the culture and customs of Japan. I was thrilled to receive a copy of I Am Tama, Lucky Cat to read and review.

This delightful and visually appealing (the illustrations have a wonderful watercolor-like quality about them) children's book is based on the Japanese "beckoning-cat legend", I Am Tama, Lucky Cat.

In Japanese legend when a cat raises it's paw it means "Come to me!" The cat is beckoning you closer which is considered to be good luck.

Tama is a stray cat who beckons a monk who shows pity on Tama and takes him in, in spite of the fact he has little food to eat himself.

The monk "had learned through Buddha's teachings to be happy in easing the suffering of others."

"He never considered his own hunger, but looked with compassion upon the hollow cheeks of his people and the protruding bones beneath my coat."

"It was for me and the temple worshippers that he wanted more food...more warmth...more comfort."

Tama is grateful and promises the monk he will bring good fortune to him and to the worshippers who come to his temple to pray.

"In Japan, it is also believed that when a cat washes its face, a guest will arrive."

Does Tama succeed? How did he earn the name of "Lucky Cat?" You will have to read this wonderful book to find out.

I Am Tama, Lucky Cat "is a timeless story of friendship, generosity and kindness", something we all can never have enough of in our daily life.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  "WENDY HENRICHS was lucky enough to grow up in a house full of dogs and cats. The inspiration for I Am Tama, Lucky Cat came to her shortly after adopting two cats. One had a habit of raising her paw while sitting,  just like a Japanese Lucky Cat figurine. Curiosity about the legends behind Lucky Cat led Wendy to the story of Tama."

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR: "YOSHIKO JAEGGI was trained in her native Japan at the Osaka Municipal Institute of Fine Art. She is the illustrator of My Dadima Wears A Sari and Monsoon Afternoon." Visit her at

  • Hardcover: $16.95
  • ISBN: 978-1-56145-589-8

To thank all of YOU for your "friendship, generosity and kindness" I am going to give-away one copy of I Am Tama, Lucky Cat.

How can YOU be the "lucky cat" to win this charming story? Just leave a comment below by Monday, August 29th, 2011 at midnight EST. One winner will be chosen at random. (CONTEST IS OPEN TO EVERYONE!) The "lucky cat" who wins this special book will be announced Wednesday, August 31st, 2011


  1. great review and it looks like a super book. I'd like to look at all the illustrations. Have a super day.

    pawhugs, Max

  2. That looks like a lovely picture book. Thanks for the great review!


  3. Awwwww how sweet and adorable!!!! Yay!!! Thanks for the review and the giveaway!! Good luck everyone! Take care

  4. Woof! Woof! This is a good book to read n we love books particularly if it is pet related. Have not read anything about CATS. For sure a delightful book to have especially with its Asian culture n customs. We would like to join your giveaway. Lots of Golden Thanks and Woofs, Sugar

  5. @Max the quilt cat, Oh yes I know YOU would enjoy the illustrations for sure! You have a great day too! ((((hugs))))

    @Sugar so happy that you are a broad-minded doggie!! lol. You are truly a doggie of the world! I am more than happy to enter you and am honored that you would like to be entered! Good luck! xoxoxo

    @Old Kitty it is a very sweet book and the illustrations are just wonderful! You are most welcome and I am THRILLED to have a give-away that EVERYONE can enter for once! xoxoxo to you and Charlie

    @Pat thank you and good luck!

  6. I love this book - the illustrations are just beautiful. You can't look at them and not smile. Don't enter me in the drawing, I obviously already have it :-)

  7. Sounds like a good story. Mom says if she won, she would like to give it to her nephew and read it to him! ♥ He is 15 months old this week! :]

  8. I would LOVE to read this book!!! I never knew there was a legend behind the Lucky Cat Japanese figurines!

  9. That sounds really good, and we're all such lucky cats!

  10. You sure did a good review thanks
    Benny & Lily

  11. @Ingrid yep I know you do! When I saw you had reviewed it I had the book here too waiting! I try not to read reviews that others have done before I do mine (I don't like to have their opinion affect mine) but...I DID steal your give-away idea (which you can see!!!! lol) I usually give the dog books that I read to my niece and nephew, sadly their family are not fans of cats so the cat children's books I either donate or give-away unless it is something SUPER special to me personally and then I will keep it :)

    @Benny and Lily thank you!

    @Brian yes I agree! :)

    @Lisa Brewer yep there sure is! Thank you for commenting and you are entered!

    @Fage how cute!! Happy 15 month birthday to your nephew!

  12. Dis soundz liek da purrfect book, Miss Caren... espeshulleez since a boycat iz da hero! :D

  13. @Glam Kitty Cody and I couldn't agree with you more!

  14. Such a beautiful illustration! I must confess - I prefer children's books to adults. I like pictures and clean story lines!

  15. @Art and Sew Forth I am with you all the way!

  16. Oh, I know my momma would love to win that book! I'm sure she'd want to read it to Myah, her great-granddaughter. I'm glad to know that cats can be considered lucky! Here's hoping Momma wins!

  17. a note from my human momma:
    The other day at Lowe's, I needed help in putting flagstones in my trunk. The young man asked about the Cat Chat sticker I have on my rear bumper. Passing the word for you!

  18. Mama has seen those cat figurines everywhere and was curious about them. Thanks for sharhng this information.

    I'm sure mama would lvoe reading this.

    Emma and Buster

  19. I'll check out the video. Thanks for letting me know. That is wonderful that someone noticed my print.

  20. Sounds a delightful story!
    Can I recommend a lovely old story from Cornwall (in the far south west of England) call the 'Mousehole Cat' (Mousehole is pronounced 'Mouzell')
    You can see it in animation on youtube.

  21. @Scrappy Grams, first let me say I am BEYOND FLATTERED as well as in SHOCK that you actually put it on your car! Even I don't have it on my car! lol. You are the cutest thing EVER!! Thank you for sharing that cute story! Good luck in the contest!

    @Wockley I know I will forget! If you remember, send me the link please! cgittleman at mi dot rr dot com thanks so much!

    @Sharon I know!! I was so happy! Actually it was Wockley I believe, his comment is right below yours!

    @Emma and Buster, you are most welcome! My pleasure!

  22. What a great review!
    Looks like a wonderful book/

  23. Wow !!!! I would love to entry for this book !!!!
    Sound so good ! First, my pawrents are Buddhism.
    Second, Mom love Japanese art and she grew up with Japanese Cartoon. and I always want to know more about the legends behind Lucky Cat.
    Caren and Cody, This is Awesome give away !
    Love You Both

  24. Sounds like a wonderful book. Our fav thing to come out of Japan is... Hello Kitty!!

  25. Dearest Caren,

    This sounds like a lovely cat book; one more...
    By the way, how did the adoption marathon in pajama's end? Would love to get a feedback from you about it.
    Thanks for your visit and kind words!
    Love to you and Cody,


  26. This book looks absolutely adorable :-) I had always wondered about the meaning of the lucky cat in Japanese culture.

  27. Oh oh oh! I want to be a lucky cat!

    Also, if that legend is true, we should be getting a lot more visitors--I wash my face a LOT.

  28. Aunty Caren,
    Yeay!!!!! FINALLY! Mama has a little Tama figurine that she puts on her work desk. Count us in for the give away. purrrr *giggles*

  29. How cute! We have a lucky cat statue; it's gold of course! This book looks sweet. Will take a look.

  30. We live in a different country, so are not expecting to win anything, but we like the story anyway, it sounds delightful.

  31. @Abby thank you! It is!

    @Jewel YES you CAN win a copy of this book! I am willing to ship it to other countries so you are entered!

    @Au and Target how cool! I hope it brings you lots of good luck!

    @Cat-from-Sydney LOL! I KNEW you would be happy! :) Awwww I hope your figurine brings you good luck! You are entered!

    @Spitty put out the welcome mat! lol

    @chocolate angel I am embarrassed to say I had never heard of "lucky cat" until I read this book

    @Mariette, thanks for asking. I wasn't able to go but I am going to do my best to find out! Love to you too!

    @Whiskeratti I have never been a fan of Hello Kitty but I am a fan of Lucky Cat!

    @Mr.Puddy I am so happy that you are excited about the give-away! That is so cool and if you win I am sure you and your Mommy will enjoy it! Good luck! xoxo

  32. My human LOOOOOOOOOVES all sorts of Japanese things, Sooo, I really want the book for my owner. After all, she gives me treats and protects me from the dog.

  33. Tama is adorable and we are crazy over the lucky cats from Japan. Mom has a small one on a red cord that Dad got in Japan when his job sent him there years ago. She can't resist that raised paw! Love and Hugs, Another "lucky" cat..ROSIE and Sue

  34. looks like a great read! with hubby in virginia all week and me in NJ i could use a good book to cuddle up with, along with my 2 dogs and 2 cats of course

  35. That looks great! Please enter us in the giveaway, thanks!